Every day we scan news headlines and social media for items of interest to the field of suicide prevention. Here’s what we found last week:

Pay it forward this holiday seasonAirdrie City View
Dec. 1, 2016
Although Christmastime is thought to be a “wonderful time of year” for many, this is not the case for everyone, especially now as Alberta is in an economic downturn and many are unemployed this holiday season. Mara Grunau, Executive Director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention, points out that research shows for every 1% increase in unemployment, there is a corresponding 0.79% increase in the suicide rate.

‘It scares the crap out of me,’ school counsellor worried not enough support for northern teen suicidesCBC
Dec. 2, 2016
Barry Chalifoux is the prevention and intervention team leader of the counselling department in Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation School, which is located in an area that has seen many youth suicide attempts in the past two months. “We’ve got four on-staff counsellors at the school. Even with that many counsellors, we’re still getting a little bit overloaded,” he said. “It scares the crap out of me… Every day I’m worried to read messages on Facebook.  And every day I’m afraid to ignore a message.”

Preventing suicide among men in the middle yearsSPRC
Dec. 2, 2016
Jeff Sung, psychiatrist, asks why more isn’t being done to prevent the suicides of middle-aged men in this blog for Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). He speculates why this issue hasn’t been getting much attention, “Some men have avoided attention… these men have concealed their suffering to avoid burdening others” and provides some guiding questions on how suicide reduction in this population may be possible.

Why we should be talking about men’s mental healthHuffington Post Blog
Dec. 1, 2016
Dr. Ari Zaretsky is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and in this blog post he emphasizes the prevalence of depression in men, and busts the myth that women are more likely to have depression. Dr. Zaretsky cites an article published in 2013 in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, which found that men and women had the same rates of depression. When asked, “What are the consequences of untreated depression in men?” Dr. Zaretsky answered: “Beyond decreased quality and function of life, and potential social consequences resulting from increased anger, aggression, risk taking and substance use, untreated depression can lead to suicide.”

Attempted suicide rates, risk groups essentially unchanged, new study showsScience Daily
Dec. 1, 2016
A new study by John Hopkins University School of Medicine has found that, after analyzing over 3 million suicide attempt-related emergency department visits over 8 years, there has been no change in the rates, age, gender, means, or “seasonal timing” of people who attempted suicide.

Stopping suicides on campus Scientific American Blog
Nov. 30, 2016
Universities use several different methods when preventing the more than 1000 college student suicides that happen every year in the US. Cornell and New York universities have installed barriers on their bridges, some have hired more mental health counsellors and crisis lines, while others, like the Miami University in Ohio, have partnered with apps to screen students for mental health issues and connect them with help.

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